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Richards signs two-year extension with Blue Jackets @NHLdotcom

Columbus Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards signed a two-year contract extension Tuesday that will take him through the 2016-17 NHL season. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Richards, 47, has led Columbus to an 85-70-16 record in 171 games, including a franchise-best mark of 43-32-7 in 2013-14. The Blue Jackets qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the second time and won their first playoff games in taking the Pittsburgh Penguins to six games before losing an Eastern Conference First Round series.

"Todd has done an outstanding job for the Columbus Blue Jackets and we're pleased that he will continue to lead our team," general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said. "We believe he is one of the top young coaches in the NHL because of his knowledge of the game, work ethic and ability to communicate well and bring out the best in our players. He's played a significant role in our recent success and we look forward to having him continue to be a big part of our franchise moving forward."

Richards was named interim coach of the Blue Jackets on Jan. 9, 2012 and given the job permanently May 14, 2012. Richards, who previously coached the Minnesota Wild, is 162-141-32 (.531) with the Blue Jackets and Wild.

"I'm very excited to be a part of this club and I appreciate the support I've received from the McConnell family, Mike Priest, John Davidson, Jarmo Kekalainen and everyone at the Blue Jackets organization," Richards said. "Our management group has done a fantastic job assembling a competitive team and we've definitely taken some very positive steps over the past two seasons. I'm looking forward to continuing to help this club grow and achieve its ultimate goal of winning a Stanley Cup championship."

Richards was an assistant for the San Jose Sharks and coached the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the American Hockey League from 2006-08, where he had a 98-49-13 record (.653) and led them to the 2008 Calder Cup Final.

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